- Check that your shears are properly adjusted:
- Check that the stopper between the two finger rings of your shear is there, and that it isn't loose. If the finger rings are clicking together, this is an excellent indicator that the stopper is missing, worn, or loose. [I'll cover the stopper in another post, but if the stopper is missing, the shears will be very dangerous to use (for both you and your client)! Stop using them immediately and call your sharpener, or send them out for service.]
- If your shears have a removable finger rest, check that it is screwed in securely.
- Look at the tips of the shears. Do they line up? Are they too pointy or sharp (do they cut you or your client)? Is there a small gap between the blades at the tip? All of these can affect the way you cut, and the way your shears feel when you cut. Most of these can be easily fixed by a qualified, professional sharpener, who specializes in beauty shears.
- How do the shears cut? You should be constantly evaluating how your shears cut as you work, but think about this at least once a week. If you're finding your hands and arms are fatigued at the end of the day, if you're having troubles cutting a straight line (because the hair is pushing towards the tips of the shears as you cut), if you're getting folding or pulling of the hair, you should be looking to have your shears sharpened soon.
These simple week-end steps will ensure your shears are functioning properly which will maximize your longevity in the beauty industry, will allow you to serve your clients in the best way possible, will maximize the life of your shears, and will help keep at bay repetitive hand motion injuries so many stylists and barbers struggle with.